2014 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 332.71
(Run/Walked = 227.84, Biked = 101.10, Elliptical = 3.77)

Countdowns!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 2011 Wrap Up

Weight Watch: +0 pounds
Not quite what I planned, but considering how bad I've been I can't complain. Still trying to figure out what I want to do about my weight. It might be time for a new plan.

Mileage Watch:
Run/Walk: 128.03 miles Bike: 65.00 miles
Elliptical: 2.07 miles
Total Miles: 195.10 miles

I am very happy with this monthly numbers. I believe this is the highest run/walk mileage I've ever had for a month. I really am feeling like the miles are benefiting me and making me stronger and fitter (even if I can't move the scale in the right direction). I am also feeling like I'm being pretty consistent and maintaining a great mileage base so when I up the miles every couple of weeks it doesn't stop me dead to recover.

Goal Review
I completed one event in March - the Run for Ryan House Half Marathon...which keeps me on track for at least one organized event per month! This race battered me last year and while it was still a very difficult race for me this year I did get back under the 3 hour mark and was still able walk after I was done...which was most definitely not the case last year.

I kept my run/walk miles over 100 which means I met the 80-100 run/walk miles per month goal too!

One of my other goals for the year was to get back to doing more running and/or run/walking and I've been doing this quite successfully. I have upped my run interval from one minute to two minutes and it has been feeling really good.

April 2011
April brings another shot at Pat's Run - this is a 4.2 mile race that ends on the 42 yard line in Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium. This will be my third year doing this race and I don't know if I'll be running or walking - it will depend on whether my friend decides to do the race too. If she joins me we'll be walking the course, if I'm on my own I'll be run/walking the race...We'll see how it goes.

I am going to continue trying to maintain my mileage and motivation. This will be tough month in terms of work as there are some things going on that will make things difficult, but I'll be doing my best to work around the distractions and keep doing my best.

Time to let March go - ride the successes and forgive the failures.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly Review: Mar 21 - 26

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Incline Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap
Monday
REST
Notes: Just wasn't feeling the workout today so I skipped it...turned out to be a good thing since I ended up working until midnight.

Tuesday
REST
Notes: Super tired and just couldn't get up enough energy to get any miles in today.

Wednesday
PM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 5.78mi, .35mi warm up walk, 5mi @ 12:24 per mi, .44mi cool down walk
Notes: Apparently, I need a recovery week because I was having some problems tonight, but I did manage to get my miles in and felt pretty okay while I was doing it.

Thursday
REST
Notes: Feeling lightheaded all day. Decided to skip the workout which was probably a good thing.

Friday
PM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 5.54mi, .29mi warm up walk, 5mi @ 13:13 per mi, .24mi cool down walk
Treadmill incline workout - 1.39 mi, 30mins, up to 10% incline
Notes: Did my 5mi with 2min run/1min walk intervals. Went pretty well overall and didn't feel too bad after the 5mi.

Saturday
AM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 6.14mi, .3mi warm up walk, 4.34mi @ 12:16 per mi, 1.5mi cool down walk
Notes: Planned on doing ten miles today, but I had no energy, nothing in the tank to give to the run so I stopped when I wore out. Did the 4.34mi with 2min run/1min walk intervals again today. I think that will be the new intervals I use until I'm ready to bump it up again.

Sunday
AM Workout: Walk 2.18mi 17:25 per mi
Bike - 20mi, 1hr 22mins, 14.6mph avg, resistance level 2
Notes: Took the dogs out for a slow and easy walk this morning. Didn't feel like being out too long so we headed back a bit sooner than I intended. Starting to feel better today so that's a bonus. Came back and got a nice pedal in on the bike.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: +1.6 pounds

Run/Walk Miles:21.03
Bike Miles: 20
Elliptical Miles: 0
TOTAL MILES: 41.03

Pilates: MISSED
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 30 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 113.98
Bike Miles: 65.00
Elliptical Miles: 2.07
TOTAL MILES: 181.05

Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:
Photobucket

Managed to get enough miles in to get the bronze Goofy this week...I used this week as a recovery week and I think it was a good plan since I had some issues this week. Overall, it was still good. I managed to change my intervals from 1min run/1min walk to 2min run/1min walk...That's a step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jeff Galloway Training Plans At runDisney

So, you've signed up for a runDisney race (or any race)....WHAT NOW?

I received a comment on one of my posts requesting some information regarding the training plan I have been using from Jeff Galloway from the runDisney website. So, I thought I'd provide links to the training plans available on the runDisney site for the January Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Events. There are a lot of training plans available for pretty much any level so you'll want to look through them and see which one meets your current goals and needs.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
18 week training plan for beginning runners (those that have been running consistently less than six months)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal of time improvement (those that have been running six months or longer)

12 week training plan for experienced runners that want to finish in the upright position (those that have been running for six months or longer)

Walt Disney World Full Marathon
26 week training plan for beginning runners (those that have been running consistently less than six months)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal to finish if you have finished the Disneyland Half Marathon (those that have been running for six months or longer)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal of time improvement if you have finished the Disneyland Half Marathon (those that have been running for six months or longer)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal to finish if you have finished the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (those that have been running for six months or longer)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal of time improvement if you have finished the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (those that have been running for six months or longer)

18 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal of time improvement (those that have been running for six months or longer)

26 week training plan for experienced runners with a goal of time improvement (those that have been running for six months or longer)

18 week training plan for experienced runners that want to finish in the upright position (those that have been running for six months or longer)

26 week training plan for experienced runners that want to finish in the upright position (those that have been running for six months or longer)

Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge
Training plan for experienced runners that want to finish in the upright position (those that have been running for six months or longer)

I started using these training plans last year after the Disneyland Half Marathon. I was struggling getting my run on and thought it might be good to try run/walk. The Dopey continued to intimidate me so I decided to focus on just walking, but I followed the mileage plan loosely and the philosophy that you can train for a full marathon running or walking three days a week.

Using this plan, I made it through the Dopey. Now I am really enjoying the run/walk method and have found that I can complete a half marathon distance feeling good - no aches/pains the next day. In fact, I was able to do back to back half marathon distances using run/walk the whole time and it felt awesome.
If you're unfamiliar with Jeff Galloway, I would suggest you check out his website (
here). I have a couple of his books and he has some great mental tricks, pre-race fueling, post race recovery. He also has a newsletter you can subscribe too from his website. I also received an email today that he has a new smart phone app (I know it's for iPhone, not sure what other platforms) that includes music, verbal cues, etc...I think I might have to check it out and you might want to as well :)!

The most important thing to remember is that any plan can be modified to fit your life. Use it as it should be used - as a tool. Tools are there to help you reach your goals so make sure it doesn't intimidate you, force you to do more than you are ready for, or make you hate the workout.

Is Galloway the only plan I've used over the last four years? NO! In fact, I still really like the Runner's World Smart Coach free program. The Runner's World plans include easy runs, tempo runs, speed work and long runs - I still tend to use these philosophies even with the Galloway plan just not so rigidly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Review: Mar 14 - 20

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Incline Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap

Monday
PM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 5.15mi, .31mi warm up walk, 4mi @ 13:38 per mi, .85mi cool down walk

Notes: Legs were a little tired today. Instead of sticking to a strict run/walk interval I just sort of ran and walked as I felt like it tonight. Sometimes that just feels right.

Tuesday
PM Workout: Treadmill Incline Workout #9 - 1.82mi up to 10% incline

Treadmill walk 3.10mi @ 15:00 per mi
Notes: I am having a weird twinge in my right ankle that was really hurting today, but it worked out during my workout so it is all better now. Registered for the 2012 Dopey today!

Wednesday
REST
Notes: Feeling a bit stiff and sore today and decided that I should just take the day off an let myself rest.


Thursday
PM Workout: 20 minute Pilates Resistance Band Workout

Bike - 10mi, 34mins, 17.3mph avg, resistance level 4
Notes: A simple Pilates workout and then a quick pedal on the bike and I was feeling tired and good.

Friday
REST

Notes: I had planned a 10mi run/walk today, but by the time I got home I had no energy and no motivation so I gave up and didn't do anything.

Saturday
AM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 13.94mi, .3mi warm up walk, 13.24mi @ 13:13 per mi, .4mi cool down walk

Notes: Used 1min run/1min walk intervals for the entire half marathon. Finished in 2hrs 55mins. This is a good improvement and I felt really good about this. The best part was that my legs were not even the littlest bit sore when I was done which hasn't happened in a long time.

Sunday
AM Workout: Walk 2.27mi @ 15:38 per mi
Treadmill run/walk - 13.79mi, .26mi warm up walk, 13.28mi @ 13:24 per mi, .25mi cool down walk
Notes: Took the dogs out for a beautiful walk this morning, it was such nice weather and they were being good (for the most part). Came home and got ready to do my second half marathon for the weekend. Yep, a mini Goofy of sorts. I used the 1min run/1min walk intervals for the whole thing again. I wasn't really sore or tired until about 12 miles in. I finished in 2hrs 58mins so just a little slower than yesterday, but still very happy with the time. A little more sore after today's run, but still not horrible and the feet and knees feel great!

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: -2.6 pounds


Run/Walk Miles:40.07
Bike Miles: 10

Elliptical Miles: 0
TOTAL MILES: 50.07


Pilates: 1 20 minute Resistance Band Workout
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 30 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 92.95
Bike Miles: 45.00
Elliptical Miles: 2.07
TOTAL MILES: 140.02


Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:
Photobucket
It's a gold medal week for me! I thought this was appropriate since I have signed up for the Dopey Challenge for 2012. I was going to do a 10mi followed by a 17mi, but instead ended up doing back to back half marathons instead. I am glad to find that I can do the distance with the run/walk method both days and have minimal soreness. This is a great start to my continuing Dopey training and I need to keep it going through the whole year :)!

Food was okay, but not great this week...I still have to do work on this area of my life, but I just can't seem to make it a priority.

Friday, March 18, 2011

runDisney Race Updates

2011 Expedition Everest Challenge
May 7, 2011
Event 70% Full

2011 Disneyland Half Marathon
September 2-4, 2011
Disneyland Half Marathon - Sold Out
*Submit wait list application, contact charity groups or travel partners for potential registration
Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K - 95% (Stroller Division - Sold Out)
Disneyland Kids' Races - 70% Full

2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon
September 30 - October 1, 2011
Registration Opened March 10, 2011
No percentages listed for any events yet

2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 5 - 8, 2012
Registration opened March 15, 2011
No percentages listed for any events yet

2012 Princess Half Marathon
February 24-26, 2012
Registration opens July 5, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Am I Still Dopey?

Yes, I am still Dopey! That's right, I registered for the 2012 WDW Family Fun Run 5K and the WDW Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge.

Last year when I made the decision to do the Dopey Challenge I assumed that it would fuel my training for an entire year. If you've followed me, you know that is not the case at all. I slacked and put off training until the very last minute. I was afraid. I was afraid of distances longer than a half marathon. I was afraid I'd injure myself and not be able to do the races at all. I let that fear rule me and my training.

Thank goodness that I woke up in October and realized that I was going to be in a world of hurt during these races. I really applied myself at that point - I knew I wasn't going to be running the races, I was training to walk them. I trained to just get by without going over the 16 minute per mile pace.

Then the days of reckoning were upon me. I was at Walt Disney World. I really wasn't worried about the 5K - I can truly do those in my sleep and knew I wouldn't have trouble completing this race. Next up the half marathon - again no worry here, I've done plenty of half marathons. I know the distance, I can do the distance without worrying. The true test for me was the full marathon - yes, I did the distance in training walks, I knew I could cover the distance, but I was very worried about the timing. That fear consumed me during the whole race - even up to mile 22 when I knew I could do it, I was still worried about not getting that coveted Goofy medal.

Right after the full marathon I wasn't sure I'd ever want to do the Goofy Challenge again. I was hurting...Oh, I was happy, but I was hurting. I would have sworn every bone in my feet broke and I left them out on the course. My legs were beyond jelly - they were dead.

Oddly, later that day after I had an ice bath, a shower and was cleaned up, the thoughts started churning. I want to do this again. I love the feeling of accomplishment I now have for completing this. I love exchanging grins with others that did it too. I love the little envious looks I'd get from people wearing Mickey medals while I was wearing my Goofy. Yeah, I did it. I'm overweight and certainly not in the best shape of my life and I don't look like someone that could finish a 5K let alone adding a half and full marathon, but that made it even sweeter to me.

I came home from these races and instead of slacking off like I did last year, I've applied myself. I've been working hard on my running and walking, I'm trying to get Pilates back in the mix regularly. I've been doing incline workouts on the treadmill and am continuing to bike and use the elliptical. I am not giving up this year. Am I afraid this year - sure, there's still some fear of injury and of disappointing myself, but it's not crippling this year. I'm embracing the fear, I know what lies ahead and instead of hiding, I'm facing it head on.

So, this year when I hit the register now button I still had the excitement and thrill, but I also have determination. I know what it takes now to do this challenge. I know that I have to put in more work. I know that I want to do better. I know that I don't ever want to see those sweepers. I know that the medals will be hard earned and I want to do it with more style. I will succeed again and hopefully with much better times than 2011.

What's your motivation? What are you afraid of? What stops you from reaching your full potential? How can I help motivate you and see you succeed?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Registration for 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Events Opens March 15, 2011

Have you thought about what you'll be doing next January? Looking for a fun race experience in a fabulous location?

If any of this sounds interesting, you might want to check out the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Events (
here).

REGISTRATION OPENS AT NOON E.D.T. ON MARCH 15, 2011

Disney's Health & Fitness Expo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Thursday, January 5, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 6, 2012
9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Pasta In The Park Party
Epcot
Thursday, January 5, 2012
6:30 p.m.
Requires purchase of special ticket

Disney Family Fun Run 5K
Epcot
Friday, January 6, 2012
6:30 a.m.
Participants will receive a t-shirt.
Finishers will receive a finisher's medallion.

Disney Kids' Races
ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex
Friday, January 6, 2012 and
Saturday, January 7, 2012
11:00 a.m.
Participants will receive a t-shirt.
Finisher's will receive a finisher's medallion.

Mickey Mile
ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex
Friday, January 6, 2012
12:30 p.m.
Participants will receive a t-shirt.
Finisher's will receive a finisher's medallion.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Epcot
Saturday, January 7, 2012
5:30 a.m.
Participants will receive a long sleeve half marathon tech shirt
Finishers will receive a 15th Anniversary Commemorative Donald Finisher's Medal

Walt Disney World Full Marathon
Epcot
Sunday, January 8, 2012
5:30 a.m.
Participants will receive a long sleeve marathon tech shirt
Finishers will receive a Mickey Mouse Finisher's Medal

Walt Disney World Marathon Relay
Runner 1 - Epcot
Runner 2 - Magic Kingdom Pluto Parking Lot
Sunday, January 8, 2012
5:30 a.m. Runner 1
Participants will receive a long sleeve marathon relay tech shirt
Finishers will receive an inaugural marathon relay finisher's medal
**NEW EVENT for 2012, space is very limited and limited by capacity

Goofy's Race & A Half Challenge
Epcot
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Epcot
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Participants will receive long sleeve tech shirts for the half, full and Goofy's challenge
Finishers will receive finisher's medals for the half, full and a special Goofy's challenge medal

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Review: Mar 7 - 13

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Incline Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap

Monday
REST

Notes: Was having some pain in my right knee - just muscle soreness, but it hurt to even walk so I took the day to rest and ice and make it better for tomorrow!

Tuesday
PM Workout: Treadmill walk 4.44mi @ 15:47 per mi

Notes: Only a little twinge left in the right knee. Felt pretty good to get a nice walk in on the treadmill tonight and I didn't even realize how far I had gone as I was reading a good book.

Wednesday
PM Workout: Bike - Treadmill run/mostly walk - .29mi warm up walk, 5mi @ 14:30 per mi, .2mi cool down walk
Notes: My brain was ready to run hard today, but my legs were not. Funny that the pain from the half was lingering on today. My shins were feeling the pounding as I'd try to run so I mostly walked. Still got a good workout in.


Thursday
PM Workout: 20 minute Pilates Circle Workout

Elliptical - 2.07mi, 56mins, ramp 40, 30, 25, 20, 15, 40, 10 (500 revolutions each)
Bike - 15mi, 1hr 2mins, 14.4 mph avg, resistance level 2
Notes: Having a bit of an upset stomach today, but it didn't stop me from getting a lot of time in on the machines today and some nice Pilates to stretch out the muscles. I was happy to be done and my legs felt like jelly - that's so cool.

Friday
PM Workout: Treadmill incline workout #8 - 1.83mi, random inclines up to 6% incline

Treadmill walk 4.07mi @ 15:47 per mi
Notes: Wow, I'm feeling the Pilates in my abs today, my legs are feeling everything and I love it. It just shows that I was putting in my effort and not just my time!

Saturday
AM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 8.86mi, .33mi warm up walk, 8mi @ 12:51 per mi, .52mi cool down walk

Notes: I could not be happier or prouder of this long run/walk today. I did the 1min run/1min walk intervals again today and I did it for the full 8 miles. I really pushed the speed today and pushed myself to not just walk. I was tired at the end, but I was also feeling really good so I like that a lot!

Sunday
AM Workout: Walk 3.57mi @ 17:28 per mi
Notes: Took the dogs out for a nice slow walk today. I'm not even a bit sore this morning after pushing on the 8miles yesterday - I love that. It's already getting too hot to take the dogs out when the sun is up - going to have to start getting up earlier if I intend to take them out.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: +.6 pounds


Run/Walk Miles: 28.25
Bike Miles: 15
Elliptical Miles: 2.07
TOTAL MILES: 45.32


Pilates: 1 20 minute Circle Workout
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 30 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 52.88
Bike Miles: 35.00
Elliptical Miles: 2.07
TOTAL MILES: 89.95


Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:
Photobucket
Another Bronze Goofy Medal for me please. A couple of days with some soreness after the half marathon, but I still maintained a good amount of miles this week and I ended feeling good and strong. I am pleased that I'm starting to push the speed a bit more. I know I need to get outside a bit more often and spend less time on the treadmill, but time can be an issue here and the treadmill is convenient when time is short.

I did a bit better job with food this week. Not perfect, but better.

I'm kind of thinking I'd like to find another half marathon in May, but it's already starting to get hot and I'm not sure I'll be able to find something. If not, I need to find some event - or it might be time for a nice virtual event :)!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Review: Feb 28 - Mar 6

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Treadmill Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap

Monday
PM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 6.23mi, .29mi warm up walk, 5mi @ 14:00 per mi, .95mi cool down walk

Notes: Ended up coming home early from work due to a massive migraine attack. Felt pretty bad, but decided as long as walking/running didn't make it worse I'd do my miles. It didn't make me feel worse, but it didn't make me better either.

Tuesday
PM Workout: Treadmill walk 3mi @ 15:47 per mi

Treadmill Incline Workout #7 - 1.74mi, up to 10% incline
Notes: Still fighting the migraine and it has left my stomach feeling really sour and sore. Did a 30 minute incline workout and a 3 mile walk. My legs are a bit tired today.

Wednesday
PM Workout: Bike - 20mi, 1hr 23mins, 14.3mph avg, resistance level 2
Notes: Still have the migraine and stomach problems. Took the day off running/walking and did bike instead. My head is sore with every step so the pounding just didn't seem like a good idea. Glad I at least did something.


Thursday
PM Workout: Treadmill run/walk - 4.56mi, .3mi warm up walk, 4mi @ 13:17 per mi, .26mi cool down walk

Notes: Still dealing with the migraine, but it's starting to get better and my stomach is okay. Played around with some 2min run/1min walk intervals today and that actually felt pretty good. Also working on doing some intervals a little faster each time toward the end of the workout.

Friday
REST

Notes: Took the day off since I will be doing a half marathon in the morning. Figured I'd already done quite a few miles which may come back to bite me during the race tomorrow. I'm actually really nervous for this race because I know how tough it was last year. It's also means a lot in terms of my progress this year so we shall see.

Saturday
AM Workout: Run for Ryan House Half Marathon - 13.1mi @ 13:37 per mi

Notes: This was still a tough, challenging, kick my rear course. I felt great through the first 10K and then sort of fell apart. At least I wasn't slower than last year, I guess that was something. I know I still have a lot of work left to do myself.

Sunday
AM Workout: Walk 2.23mi @ 16:55 per mi
Notes: Took the dogs out for a nice slow recovery walk today. I'm a bit sore this morning, but sore like a good hard workout not like I can't walk.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: -2 pounds


Run/Walk Miles: 30.86
Bike Miles: 20
Elliptical Miles: 0
TOTAL MILES: 50.86


Pilates: MISSED
Strength: MISSED
Incline: 1 30 minute incline workout

Monthly Numbers:
Run/Walk Miles: 24.63
Bike Miles: 20.00
Elliptical Miles: 0
TOTAL MILES: 44.63


Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results:
Photobucket
Back to the bronze Goofy medal and I'll take it. I put a lot of miles in this week ending with a nice half marathon. It was a tough week with all the migraine and stomach issues, but I pulled through it all and did the best I could.

I did a bit better job with food this week. Not perfect, but better. I still have a lot of work to do in this area and it might be time to try something new. I'm definitely thinking about some new options here.

I need to do a better job getting Pilates and strength training back in to the schedule. I'm just having trouble fitting it all in to my day. It's tough to fit it all in and maintain some balance.

I have now done my March race and the goal of an event a month is still intact.

It's hard to believe, but I've done the following races already this year:
2 5Ks
1 8K
2 Half Marathons
1 Full Marathon

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2011 Run for Ryan's House Race Review

My only expectation for this race was to try to finish in 3 hours and still be able to walk at the end of the race.

The day started at 4am when the alarm clock rang. It took me a few minutes to get up and get moving this morning. I have to admit that I'm extremely nervous for this race - I know I'm going to be in for a hilly challenging course today and I'm just not sure what that's going to mean for me. Memories of the pain from last year are haunting me and I can only hope that I'm better prepared this year.

I got myself ready, fed the dogs and got ready to head out at about 4:50am. I had to make a quick stop to fill up gas in the car and I was on my way. It's about 23 miles to the race start and the drive is quick and easy. I find a nice parking spot that's very near the race start/finish line and I decide to relax in the car until it's time to take a bio break prior to the race start. As I'm relaxing in the car I notice that it's very windy out this morning.

I headed out to find the portajohns at 6:15am. It's a little chilly and windy out this morning. I'm not sure whether this is good or bad at this point. After my bio break, I decide to walk - nothing fast, just a nice tour around the area to get the muscles moving and stay warm while waiting for the start of the race.

It starts getting light shortly before the race begins and we all begin lining up for the start of the half marathon. There are several races taking place today, most notably a 5K, 10K and the Half Marathon - there are just over 2000 people participating in races today. Sure seems small after Walt Disney World. I know this means I'll be at the back of the pack again this year because of the small size of the race group.

The race benefits Ryan House - a hospice for critically ill children needing end of life care. It's such an important cause and I'm glad to help support it, and I can't help but get a little misty eyed as the race organizers describe Ryan's House and it's purpose.

7:00am and the race begins. I'm going to try doing the 1 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals today and see how far it takes me. I'm excited to see what this method will do for me on this course, but I'm not expecting to be able to hold this through the whole race because I know there are some huge hills and it's going to be a challenge.

I start out on the course and almost immediately, my Garmin loses satellite reception. I hear someone else say the same thing about their Garmin. Is it the end of the world? Ha, no we're just in a Scottsdale black hole :)! I thought it would pickup reception again, but it didn't and I went about .6mi before I finally got my reception back and things were back to normal. I saw a one mile marker and thought it was for the half, but it was only for the 10K so my Garmin was out of sync for the whole race, not that it really mattered on that part. During all the fun of getting the Garmin up and running I was maintaining my run/walk intervals and felt a little tight, but not too bad overall and I knew I'd settle in to a routine soon enough.

The back of the pack - that's where I already was. There were only a few people behind me and the people in front of me were continuing to pull ahead. I didn't let that bother me - but I was hoping that they would have better signage on the course so I wouldn't get lost (that was a very close call last year). I past the one, two and finally three mile markers and was still feeling pretty good.

We started heading up a pretty good hill and I had to add a few extra walk breaks in. If it would have just been a hill it wouldn't have been so bad, but we were also heading into the wind and at times it was actually hard to move forward through it. Miles four and five were pretty uneventful and I continued my run/walk routine.

I hit the 10K mark and I was feeling remarkably good. I should have realized that this feeling would not last. As I neared the 7 mile mark I realized that I was not feeling as good, I had to start walking more and I just felt spent. I took a gel at about 7.5 miles, hoping that I would feel better. I continued doing more and more walking only running once in a while. Miles 8 and 9 were not too terrible, but I did a lot of walking.

Finally I was at mile 10 and I know I only had a 5K left to go. Sadly, this last 5K was very difficult as the majority of it was uphill. Yes, it's a cruel thing to have hills in the last 5K of the race. I struggled more and more and by the time I hit mile 11 I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep going. I knew I couldn't quit now though and I just kept going. Pretty much only walking at this point.

I hit mile 12 and I was able to get some more running in. It wasn't so much that I was hurting - I was, but not terribly - it was more that I just ran out of energy. I kept going along and finally hit the last .25mi. I was able to pretty much run that last little stretch. I hit the finish line and the clock showed 2:58. I finished the half marathon with a 13:37 per mi pace - better than I've done in a while, but not as good as I want to do.

I was handed a medal and like last year pretty much everything was being packed up and there wasn't really any food or drinks to be found. Good thing I planned for that. I knew I couldn't just stop walking this year so I walked around a few times. While I was walking around I got to hear that the overall half marathon winner finished in 1hr 16mins - WOW!

Back to the car and headed back home.

Thoughts on this race and my performance:
-The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. Not too hot or too cold - the wind was a bit strong going up the hills, but it kept the heat down so I guess it wasn't such a bad thing.
-The course was different this year, but no less challenging.
-I came in the very last in my age group - good thing I'm not used to coming in closer to the front of the pack :)
-Thank goodness for all the volunteers. I'm pretty sure I thanked them all. One girl told me that it was tough managing traffic and someone flipped her off - to that rude individual, may all your tires go flat and leave you stranded!
-I didn't fuel right for this race. I should have brought my Accelerade instead of just water and I probably should have upped the number of gels to account for the extra effort of the hills.
-I met my goal of finishing in 3hrs.
-My time this year was the same as last year, but this time I am able to walk and feel pretty good overall.
-I still have a long way to go to get to where I want, but the miles I've been putting in have helped tremendously.
-I need to get outside more often and off the treadmill.
-I need to re-learn how to slow the run portions of my intervals again. I was below 12 minute miles on the run portions and that probably contributed to my tiredness so early.
-My walk portions remained under 14 minute per mile pace which helped keep my pace lower overall.

Some Pictures from the course:
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